Understanding your WordPress.com stats if you have a static front page

If your WordPress.com site has a static front page (as we do at Happy Guide), you may have noticed something a little odd in your stats…

There appears to be two “home” pages logging! Here’s why…

One entry in the stats is the name of the page that is set as your front page. If you hover over this entry and look at your status bar (bottom left of your browser window), you’ll see it links to your static page’s original location.

This will be yoursite.com/home or yoursite.com/front-page, or something similar, depending on what you originally entered as the page’s permalink.

Then there’s another entry in the stats called “Home page / Archives”. If you hover over this entry and look at your status bar, you’ll see it links to your site root — yoursite.com.

So which one actually tells you the number of views of your home page? It’s the FIRST one — the entry that refers to your static page.

The “Home page / Archives” entry tells you the number of views of your posts page (plus sub-views such as categories etc). Yes, even though it’s labelled “Home page / Archives” AND links to your site root, it’s actually referring to your posts page, which is probably at yoursite.com/blog or something similar.

Why would they have this confusing situation in their stats system?

The reason, I’m sure, is that in the beginning, ALL blogs had their posts on the home page. So the stats entry for recording posts-page views was naturally labelled “Home page / Archives”. They didn’t imagine static home pages would come along and kick the posts off to another page :-)

So their stats system needs updating and I’ve posted a suggestion to them. If you’re interested, you can read it here…

Suggestion to WordPress.com

Hope this clears up a little mystery you may have wondered about, while perusing your stats :-)

All the best,
James

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7 thoughts on “Understanding your WordPress.com stats if you have a static front page

  1. Thank YOU for clearing this up! Now, here’s one more question. I opted out of a blog page and, instead, just have my other menu items leading to each category of posts. There is no way to view all the blog posts on one page on my site. So, is the Home Page/Archives stat meaning it’s all the other clicks of pages? I ask this because my home page/archive stat number doesn’t come close to the combined views of my other post pages…my other stats for that day, excluding my static landing page. Thoughts?

    • Hi Blaire, nice site!

      It’s a long time since I looked at this topic but I believe the Home Page/Archives stat includes visits to any “all posts” page + sub views such as category views or archive views. I’ll explain what this means for your site in just a moment. Please note it does not also include post views — these are logged separately.

      It looks like you have just one page, which you have set as a static front page. So in your stats, under “Posts and Pages”, you should see something like:

      Behind Neat Little Life (number of views)
      Home Page / Archives (number of views)
      How to Detach, Declutter, & NOT Screw it Up (number of views)
      How to Succeed in a 20-minute Declutter Challenge (number of views)

      The first is the number of views to your static home page. In your case, “Home Page / Archives” will simply be the number of visits to your category views (that you have linked to in your menu). This figure may also include visits to your “series” view, that you have linked to in the sidebar — I’m not sure on that one.

      Then the last two in my example are views of individual posts. Does this clarify / make sense? Let me know :-)

      All the best,
      James

    • When I click on your “How to Declutter” series link in your sidebar, the page is headed “Archives”, so I would say visits to this are almost certainly included in the “Home Page / Archives” stat :-)

      • Thank you, yes, it clears it up! I guess now I’m wondering if that’s smart to be “headed” that way as far as…..google and crawling and whatever are concerned. I know there’s a couple articles but I’m legit going to keep it running for years….lifetime or the end of the internet haha…so I want to make sure all of that is set from the beginning until I make enough money from it to hire someone to take care of all of that for me. Do you have any articles about that aspect? I use WordPress through BlueHost so I’d be curious to know about maximizing SEO through that. Cause I’m not sure how that one article is headed anything. Didn’t know that term. Any starter articles? :)

      • “If it’s smart to be headed that way as far as Google is concerned.” You mean in terms of splitting your content into categories? There’s no problem there. WordPress is very SEO-friendly “out of the box”. That doesn’t mean you’ll automatically rank well for Google searches of course, it just means you have the potential to.

        In terms of SEO, it doesn’t make any difference which host you’re using as long as that host is reliable and your site loads at a decent speed (yours appears to be fine). BlueHost is one of the leading hosting companies so you should be absolutely fine.

        Generating lots of free traffic through SEO is a big topic. The big stuff really is write posts/articles about things people are Googling for. Of course it depends on how many other sites (and the popularity of those sites) as to whether you can appear near the top of Google results for the search phrase you’re targetting. And of course you want to write helpful articles that complement, or lead into, whatever it is you’re planning to sell.

        So SEO is really only a possible part of your overall strategy. It’s entirely possible for example, to have a profitable online business using purely adverts that send traffic to a single webpage that sells a product. It’s a big topic and it all depends on how you’re planning to monetize your site.

        If you’d like to delve into SEO deeply, Neil Patel has probably the most comprehensive guide ever written here:

        https://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-seo

        If you’d like to know more about using your website to sell something (ie. one that converts visitors into customers), I recommend checking out Thrive Theme’s articles:

        https://thrivethemes.com/blog

        Sorry for such a messy answer but it’s a big topic :-) And it really all depends on what you’re planning to do with your site in terms of how to monetize it, how to turn it into a business. This could be through selling ad space, promoting other people’s products as an affiliate (that earns you a commission), selling your own products or perhaps a combination.

        All the best,
        James

  2. It would be handy if it showed individual category pages because I have split all my topics into categories. Thanks for the great article – very useful.

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